My husband, Sophie and I walk all the time – on the days that I am not working. Twice a day on weekends and sometimes on Thursdays mornings if I have a class in the evenings. Every walk shares similar themes and scenery and after a while you wonder if a camera is really necessary – after all what could be new to see and record!
This last thursday I did not take the camera. We were going to Neck Point, an often photographed and well recorded park – You all have seen the pictures! Yesterday morning, in the bay on the far side of the park, there was a special “happening”. There were sea lions, cormorants and ducks of all descriptions. The birds were in the water around the sea lions and on the rocks beside them. There were gulls overhead and the bay felt like there was something special going on….. even the shore was a little different there were more Oyster shells half buried in the sand and the sea-weed was bright and fresh with different colours. There was a party happening in this bay!
I did not have my camera…..Every day, every moment is a different time……enough said.
I did something unusual that day. I brought something home from that bay. I usually just take pictures of the detritus that collects on the beach – I used to bring it all home, interesting shells and bits of beach glass. That days’ find was special.
It was an Oyster Shell. Old; worn shiny by the effects of wave and sand; still in one piece with both halves firmly attached; it is perfect. Did it house the perfect pearl? What has kept both pieces so firmly attached together? A perfect little mystery.
A couple of weeks ago we walked around Jack Point. A wonderful walk. On the way out of the Park we looked at a board with a map of the area. On this map was a note about a park across the bay and Nanaimo River Estuary. Chase River Estuary Park was right across the bay and my husband (born and raised in Nanaimo) and I had never heard of it!
The Estuary walk was not a long walk. But it was unique and beautiful. The walk is divided into two parts, one on each side of Chase River. One is a high walk, overlooking the River and its Estuary. That part of the walk leads out to the bay and the view of Jacks Point and the Nanaimo River Estuary. As we walked towards the harbour and the overlook of the Chase River estuary below, we disturbed a Great Blue Heron.
The Upper walk is part board walk and mostly paths, well-worn and leading to the railway line and viewpoints over the harbour. It was a beautiful clear morning and we could see over to the mainland and the mountains.
The other side of the walk was the low walk. This walk has many boardwalks that take you right down to the Estuary itself. The undergrowth is tall, making some of the walks look like tunnels. Everything is starting to bud. There were many small notes of bright green through the underbrush as we walked through the park.
Down in the estuary there is an outlook that looks out over Chase River. That morning there was a female Common Merganser Duck swimming and diving in the river. The water was so clear we could see her swimming underwater when she dove.
Sophie saw the duck as well and every hunting instinct went into full swing. Sophie pointed. She leaped off the boardwalk and almost dragged my husband into the River. It was an exciting morning. Sophie strutted the rest of the walk!
From the same outlook there is a great view of a Vintage Car Chassis, rusting in the sunlight. The Chassis Hinted of times gone by, wild and overgrown and looking like a piece of art just sitting there ready for a photograph. Who had owned the car? What was the history? Here was a story waiting to be told!
The Chase River Estuary walk was interesting. The views were varied; there were many types of birds to see; this could become a popular place for us to walk.